Eating one's study subjects

Martha V. Lutz & Charles T. Lutz lutzrun at
Mon Aug 28 18:06:49 EDT 2000

Michael Gochfeld wrote:
>.... Some researcher who collected often chowed-down repeatedly and with
>apparent relish.......


Constantine Rafinesque supposedly ate the first specimen of a new species
of octopus.  This was in the 1800s, and no one found any more specimens of
that species (Ocythoe tuberculata) for almost another 100 years.

Perhaps that was why Rafinesque became possessive about his botanical
specimens, and took them with him on a voyage.  The plan backfired, as
there was a shipwreck and all his herbarium specimens sank with the vessel.
Including the type specimen of a species I worked with when doing my
Masters in botany.

Anyway . . . it's good to be back home, after teaching ento for a week in
Nebraska.  While there I had time to chat with someone about the IA State
study (more Monarchs / Bt stuff) and got a copy, which I am in process of
perusing.  They apparently did an ELISA on the pollen to see if the Bt
toxin is expressed there--I am curious about the method they used for this.
I have been thinking for the past year that someone with more
sophisticated facilities than what I have available ought to try to raise
some mAbs to the Bt toxin--could be a useful tool to gain precision in
research on effects on non-target organisms.  I'm going to ask my Immuno
friends about the ELISA technique as used in this context, particularly on
preserved specimens.

I don't eat Monarchs, by the way; nor do I saute my Saturniid friends.  My
husband has eaten grasshoppers, though.

In Stride,
Martha Rosett Lutz

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